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AARYAN ARORA is a young actor, musician, and composer. He was interviewed by PRAGYA MISHRA during the Global Spirituality Mahotsav on the impact of meditation on his creativity and sense of inner balance, and the advice he would give young people struggling to find their way.

 

Q: Thank you for joining us. You’re a social media influencer. How did it all start for you?

AA: I started posting on Instagram three years ago and I now have around 400,000 followers. It started with some of my acting projects, then I started releasing music, mostly covers of Hindi and English songs. Then, after meeting Daaji, I became obsessed with writing music.

I asked Daaji about artists producing content. He told me that when anybody in the artistic field is working on something, they should have a purpose in mind, so as to create something with meaning. That’s when I started writing music. I wanted to dive deeper into life, so I started writing music that was more spiritual. 

Q: This is your second visit to Kanha; you must have noticed the transformation from your last visit. What has pulled you back here?

AA: Definitely Daaji, and also everyone who makes Daaji who he is. The volunteers, the people I’ve been meeting here, embody that essence of Heartfulness, which is love, right? 

Daaji touched my heart when I first met him, when we did a podcast together. I didn’t come with any expectations, but he put me in a state of pure bliss. It was so amazing just talking to him. My first question was about love. He said it was a very big question, and we went into many different areas that opened my heart. I remember thinking, “What’s the point of being an artist? Is it just to produce content for entertainment, or is it also to have an impact on people, on society—to put something out there that can bring change?” Since then, so many emotions have overflowed. The second I entered Kanha again, I was blown away with all the love and positive energy. Meditation got me in such a great state. 

Q: You’re here at Kanha for the Global Spirituality Mahotsav, where many spiritual organizations have come together with a focus on how inner peace can lead to global peace. If individuals are at peace, then collectively we can bring about a world where there are fewer wars, more cooperation, and everyone can come together. I want to understand from you, as a creator and influencer, what do you do to find inner peace and joy?

AA: I meditate. I started here in Kanha. It was the best experience I could imagine having. I did not come with any expectations. I came with an open heart. I just followed the energy I was receiving. Since then, I’ve been practicing Heartfulness regularly. 

For inner peace, I try to go within myself, not to analyze but to dive deep into my heart, which is what we do in Heartfulness. It makes a big difference. Every time I’m thinking about life, problems, the meaning of being here, why I’m doing this, I just dive within my heart and go from there.

Before I met Daaji and started Heartfulness, I was making some originals that were centered around love, because I always talk and connect with people from the heart. But I wasn’t diving that deep into my writing. Once I met Daaji, I came back to Delhi and my mom said, “What’s happened to you?” I was in a state of self-discovery. 

I started writing deep lyrics, including a song that isn’t released yet about how we’re all wandering souls on this earth, we’re all trying to find the truth. More importantly, we’re trying to find happiness. What we don’t realize is that it’s temporary happiness, whereas real happiness is within yourself, right? When you’re content with yourself. 

People say, “I haven’t made it, I’m not successful yet.” But the way I think about success now is how you feel within yourself, if your soul is content with what you’re doing. 

We’re living in an age of social media. For anybody who is an influencer already, or is thinking of getting into social media, a lot of the time you get into the aspects of likes and followers, and you may think, “I shouldn’t do this because what if I don’t get enough engagement?” “If I do this, I’ll get more comments.” “More girl followers. Girls will like this better.” 


For inner peace, I try to go within myself,
not to analyze but to dive deep into my
heart, which is what we do in
Heartfulness.


I don’t post too often these days—maybe once or twice a month. Do your work with your heart. If you want to get into a specific niche and promote something, let it be something you love. Someone who’s into yoga is doing it because they love it, right? They want to spread that beautiful art to the rest of the world. That’s what I am doing with music, acting, and my content. 

Q: Couldn’t agree more. But it’s often difficult when you’re going through a struggle to dig deep, look into your heart, and say, “Okay, that’s what I want to do.” While you believe in it, you don’t always have the courage to follow your heart. Have you had those moments? What has really helped you to stick to that path?

AA: I’m so glad you asked this question. Around a year ago, I was in a state of depression. I didn’t know what I was experiencing. My mom witnessed it, and you know how mothers are, very emotional and very loving. Even though she’s spiritual and very much into meditation, my mom knew I was a bit rigid at that point. When you get into spirituality, at the beginning it’s not always easy. If materialistic things aren’t going to give you happiness, what will? That put me in a depressive state, in a loop. I was thinking, thinking, thinking, and I overthought to the point of depression. I went to a therapist who said, “You’ve got to be on lifelong medication,” so my mom said, “Alright, just listen to me, start meditating a little bit.” 

We started doing meditation in the morning and evening. The first week, nothing much happened. The second week, I felt a little more relaxed. After a couple of months, everything changed. The depression was a catalyst, because I had never composed music, I was just singing other people’s songs. As an artist, one way to open up your heart is to write music. After the depression and after meditating for a month or two, I could write music from my heart, and it changed my whole life. Meditation and spirituality helped me unleash my creativity as an artist. 

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 As an artist, one way to open up your heart is to write music. 
After the depression and after meditating for a month or two, 
I could write music from my heart, and it changed my whole life. 
Meditation and spirituality helped me unleash my creativity as an artist.


I did a podcast with the well-known director, David Lynch. He told me that when actors sometimes walk into a room, sometimes people say, “Oh, he has the ‘it’ factor.” Why? It includes looks, how well you’re dressed, consciousness, energy, and the spirituality that your soul is speaking to. Sometimes you change the way people perceive you, and you give an energy to people. Once you meditate for some time, it changes your experience with other people, your relationships; it’s not just about understanding yourself more, it also changes the way you talk to other people, the way you handle situations.

For example, if something happens in daily life, whether small or big, a business deal, or a broken utensil in the kitchen, earlier I’d be like, “Oh my God, why is this going on?” I would constantly monkey my victim mindset. But since meditating regularly, it has changed. I’ve seen the people who are connected with Daaji. They are so content with themselves, they know how to behave, and how to react to situations. 

Q:  I completely agree. Heartfulness has helped me significantly to center and respond instead of reacting. 

AA: Exactly. When you get less and less in your own way, and you’re in that flow state, meditation gives you that humility to realize you’re so insignificant, and yet you’re significant. What is it you can do with the significance that you have in this life? I think it’s what Daaji says, around self-realization and finding yourself. 

When I meditate more, I make meaningful human connections from the heart, which last a long time. At the end of the day, the other person can also resonate and feel from where you are coming to them. If it’s from a transactional place, they can quickly make it out. 

Q: Often when young people are depressed, or in any sort of struggle, the easy go-to is addiction. How come you never went into that? Or did you, and you have something to share?

AA: I did. I’m going to be totally honest, because a lot of my audience is from America and the Western world. Marijuana has been legalized everywhere, and it’s been marketed as something therapeutic, which maybe in some situations it is. You have dispensaries in California and New York. In every social circle, your friends ask, “You want to smoke?” I still remember going to Florida for a shoot. We were making money. I thought, “Now’s the time to relax and have fun. Let’s smoke some weed.” You smoke weed once and it’s such a good experience. And for musicians, you walk into any recording studio in America and it is full of smoke.

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But with spirituality, there’s a
smooth balance, a high that
never has lows. 
 


I told my mom, “Mom, I smoked weed.” 
And she said, “What!” 
I was like, “Mom, I’m so sorry, I feel so bad.” 
She said, “Why are you doing this?” 
I told her, “Mom, I don’t know. I feel like it unleashes my creativity.”

Then I discovered that meditation and spirituality give you a high that weed can never give you. With any drug, after a couple hours there is going to be a low after the high. But with spirituality, there’s a smooth balance, a high that never has lows.


Try meditation. Don’t just give it one try. 
Give it a couple of weeks or a month. 
It will make a difference. 
You will experience spiritual advancement 
in your life as well as materialistic.


Q: Do you think we get into peer pressure, the need to fit in, to belong? We often do things that don’t align with our values. I did that when I was young, and I’m sure a lot of people are doing it right now. What can you share with them that will give them the courage to step away and say, “I’m not going to fall for this. I’m going to do what I think is right for me”?

AA: It’s not easy when you have a group of friends, especially if you’ve been friends for many years. It’s even worse when they’re in the same profession, especially if they’re successful. It’s different than college or high school, when someone is giving you drugs before an exam. When you’re older, you’re making money and being successful. People are smoking weed around you and pressuring you to do drugs. 

Nowadays, I take a deep breath and do a short meditation, being 100% honest. That kind of state of silence, of pure bliss, puts you in connection with your soul. When you come out of meditation, you don’t have thoughts about what other people are saying. You’re not as influenced as you were. Even in one meditation, you can change the way you are thinking. 

We all have different conditioning, whether from family, friends, or where we were brought up. At the same time, we eventually leave home, make friends, and peer pressure is difficult. 

I would say, take a deep breath and connect to your soul. Try meditation. Don’t just give it one try. Give it a couple of weeks or a month. It will make a difference. You will experience spiritual advancement in your life as well as materialistic. 

Q: Thank you so much for sharing. We’ll keep watching all your beautiful music coming out. 

AA: Thank you.

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AARYAN ARORA

AARYAN ARORA

Aaryan is a young Indian- American actor, musician, composer, and social media personality, who is known for the legal drama Bull, the musical Bhangin It and the film Deli Boy. He is also the Founder and CEO of The A... Read More

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